In addition to being asked whether I am a lawyer, I am also often asked why I don't practice as a lawyer full time. There are many reasons, some within my control and some outside, but overall I believe that the traditional model of lawyering - hypercompetitive, hierarchical, and expensive - is unsustainable and out of date in this age when many workers want flexibility and a good work-life balance while still being able to pay the bills.
Instead of focusing on why I'm not a lawyer, I want to focus on the things I love about being a notary public. Here are my top five reasons to be a notary public:
- The work is really interesting: Since Downtown Notary Toronto started in 2014, I have rarely done the same document twice. This means I'm always learning about different legal proceedings and requirements. If I haven't notarized or commissioned a particular kind of document before, I make sure I've researched it thoroughly to ensure I understand its requirements.
- Meeting new people: I'm a people-person, so I enjoy the opportunity to meet with new clients and provide the best customer service possible. As a notary, I get to meet people from all walks of life.
- Seeing the city: Despite having lived in Toronto for 12 years, I've realized that there are so many parts of this city that I've never seen before - or knew about! As a mobile notary, I often travel (usually by bicycle!) across the city to meet my clients in their homes or places of business. Not only do clients appreciate the fact that we can come to them, I've gotten to know this city much better by traveling from one neighbourhood to another.
- Flexible hours: Clients tell us frequently that they really appreciate the fact that we are open on evenings and weekends. As they say, everyone is really busy these days, and it can be very hard to fit in a trip to the notary between 9 and 5 on top of everything else. With our extended hours, they can figure out times that work best for them. On the flip side, this gives me a lot of flexibility in my own working hours.
- Becoming a technophile: As you might know, Downtown Notary Toronto is an entirely mobile business - we forgo a permanent office in order to keep our overhead low, and we pass the savings on to our clients. So how do we run our business? Using the latest and greatest in mobile business technology. Although I've always had an interest in tech that could be described as mild (though I must note that I was an avid Hypercard programmer back in grades 3-6), starting Downtown Notary Toronto has challenged me to improve my technoskills so we can provide the most efficient and effective notary public and commissioner services to our clients. I realize I'm never going to be the next Steve Jobs, but I can design a website like nobody's business.
So there you have it: my top five reasons that being a notary public is great. Do you agree or disagree?